Blog Entry

Grading the Tigers-Yankees ALDS

Posted on: October 7, 2011 1:18 am
Edited on: October 7, 2011 12:40 pm

By Matt Snyder

Jim Leyland's tinkering. Leyland was roundly mocked on Twitter for his choice in the two-hole of the batting order throughout the series. He used a different lineup five different times in five games while Yankees manager Joe Girardi kept the same lineup throughout the entire ALDS. And look at the Tigers' three wins. Magglio Ordonez was 3-for-3 with a run scored in Game 2. Ramon Santiago was 2-for-4 with two huge RBI in a Game 3 victory and Thursday night in Game 5, Don Kelly opened the scoring in the first inning with a solo home run. Give Leyland credit for pushing the right buttons, specifically with who he batted second, but generally throughout the entire series.

The Tigers' back-end duo of Joaquin Benoit and Jose Valverde wasn't perfect in the series. Valverde made Game 2 interesting with a bad ninth and Benoit walked in a run Thursday night, even if it was an inherited runner. Still, the Tigers blew zero leads with either pitcher on the mound and the duo was a major reason for the series victory. Benoit in particular had to work out of some pretty rough spots, both in Game 2 and in Game 5. His stuff is nasty and he came up with big strikeouts when he had to have them. Valverde was shaky in his first two outings, but was anything but that in Game 5, with a one-run lead and the season on the line.

Justin Verlander struck out 11 batters and was masterful at times in his lone real start of the series: Game 3. He also gave up six hits, three walks and four earned runs. He did gather the victory, as he outpitched Yankees ace CC Sabathia. And we have to point out the Yankees do have a pretty damn good offense, too. It's just that this was a "C" effort for Verlander considering his body of work. You don't expect him to go out and give up four runs in a must-win game. He wasn't at his best, he was just good enough. That's a C-effort in my book. Probably in his, too. I also fully expect an A-effort in Game 1 against the Rangers.

We're going with Mother Nature/Major League Baseball here. Game 1 was ruined by rain. We have absolutely no way of knowing how the series would have gone -- and, remember, I predicted the Tigers in five anyway, so this is no excuse for the Yankees' loss -- but we were deprived of the real series. If MLB moved the start time earlier or didn't start Game 1 at all last Friday, we'd have seen both Verlander and Yankees ace CC Sabathia make two full starts in the series. Instead, each was wasted in a rain-suspended Game 1 and could only turn around to make one more start. On the other hand, the weather reports aren't always predictable, so this was a tough call. Bottom line, we got screwed a bit, and there's nowhere else to place the blame than with whoever you believe controls the weather in New York City.

Yankees 4-5-6 hitters. Alex Rodriguez is a big scapegoat for many. He has been for years. In Game 5, he struck out with the bases loaded in the seventh inning and then ended the series with a strikeout in the ninth. The boos showered down upon him several times at home. Nick Swisher also struck out with the bases loaded in Game 5, and his was to end the inning. Combined, A-Rod, Mark Teixeira and Swisher went 9-for-55 (.164) with five RBI in the entire series. A-Rod was the worst, going 2-for-18 (.111), but all three of these guys were bad. If you want to know how bad, here's another illustration: The only two runs Robinson Cano scored all series were on his own home runs. He was left on base seven times.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 20, 2011 5:53 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 17, 2011 9:47 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 12:56 pm

Grading the Tigers-Yankees ALDS

Fine generate. My family and i carefully consider every little thing you've gotten publish ed.

Since: Oct 8, 2011
Posted on: October 8, 2011 5:48 pm

Grading the Tigers-Yankees ALDS

I do not understand why so many people, especially lots of talk radio folks, seem so shocked that the Tigers won.  Let's see, the Tigers only won 2 less games than NY over the 162 game season while dominating them in head to head.  They last met in 06 and the Tigers won that in 4.  The Yankees were down and forced to win game 4 just to create the deciding game.  The Tigers finished the season as one of baseball's hotest teams with probably the American League's most dominate starting pitcher and closer.  How can their victory be met with such surprise?

Since: Oct 9, 2006
Posted on: October 7, 2011 5:19 pm

Grading the Tigers-Yankees ALDS

Um, Posada was their only real threat? Really? Gardner didn't have any big hits? Cano didn't have any big hits? Seriously, did you even watch the series?

The Yankees didn't get enough big hits when they needed them and the Tigers pitched very well. When Scherzer is healthy, he has as good of stuff as any in baseball and thank you Jimmy for removing him when you did. We were done if you let him finish the game.

And though I have always refrained from jumping on the "hate ARod" train, he was brutal in this series. He could have erased a ton of bad karma if he had only gotten one run home in the seventh of game 5. Absolutely brutal, and you really can't continue to think of him as a star player after the past season and this series. And, arguably, the same for Jeter as he seems to have lost his mystical penchant for October greatness.

The Yankees enter the offseason with some real questions. We have the left side of our infield signed long-term, but they are both well beyond their prime, age-wise and production-wise. We lack the starting pitching needed to produce in the postseason like everyone expects a $200 million payroll should, and starting catcher remains a rather distinct hole.

Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: October 7, 2011 1:31 pm

Grading the Tigers-Yankees ALDS

Jeters perfomance--funny how this is not mentioned. A-rod's performance was pretty sad but out of 24 at bats, Jeter stuck out 8 times & had about the same OBP as A-Rod. He repeatedly whiffed when they needed a hit. Granderson's average was weak too. Posada was their only real threat & he may not even be around next year!

Since: Jun 3, 2010
Posted on: October 7, 2011 12:28 pm

Grading the Tigers-Yankees ALDS

Thank you Staff23.

Guys -- If you could read, you'd see I specifically said it wasn't an excuse for the Yankees. And, as another commenter noted, the Game 1 situation hurt the Tigers more than the Yankees. Plus, I predicted the Tigers would win in 5 games. Why would I make excuses for the team I believed would lose the series from the get-go? That makes no sense.

If you want to see why the Yankees really lost, read the "F" section.

And lighten up while you're at it. This is supposed to be fun. It's sports.

- Matt

Since: Oct 9, 2006
Posted on: October 7, 2011 10:58 am

Grading the Tigers-Yankees ALDS

Stop acting like everyone is giving excuses for the Tigers to win and just take it and go play the Rangers. The guy was just throwing his style of humor in the article. You sound like a 4th grader with your guess what girardi comments. You're telling me that in the 3-2 game with 9 runners left on base a hit here or there wouldn't have won the game? The Tigers won the game congratulations they got clutch pitching and timely hitting, that's what is needed in the post-season.

Since: May 24, 2008
Posted on: October 7, 2011 10:23 am

Grading the Tigers-Yankees ALDS

The most telling statistic was the F grade. Rodriguez, Teixeira and Swisher hit a combined .164 for the series and in Game 5, the Yankees had the bases loaded with one out in two separate innings and got a total of one run out of the opportunities, and that on a walk. In baseball, if you get good pitching and timely hitting, you usually win games. The Tigers did that more than the Yankees, ergo Detroit moves on.

And Yankee haters, the team will be back, next year with C.J. Wilson. Unfortunately, it will also be back with bats getting another year older, outside Jesus Montero.

Since: Dec 14, 2006
Posted on: October 7, 2011 10:12 am

Grading the Tigers-Yankees ALDS

Oh, I understand was the rain that caused the Yanks to lose.  The rain made this a fake series, not the real one.  Thanks for clearing that up.  We should probably go back and discount all the regular-season series that were affected by rain-outs as well.  Same for football, any game played in the rain and/or snow should not count in the rankings.

Was this Snyder guy really that desparate for something to put in his "D" section that he actually believes this crap?  Just like Giradi after the game saying "another hit here or there, and we could have won".  Well guess what Girardi, another Tiger hit here or there and the series is not as close as it was.

Dad always said "IF....IF the dog craps, you have to clean it up"...If is a big word that has no place in reality.  Tigers win as the better team, no excuses.

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